The new Dragon Ball game is powered by Google’s cloud

Bandai Namco Entertainment announced the latest entrant in its series of Dragon Ball games this week. Dragon Ball Legends is a player versus player (PvP) mobile game that has players from all over the world battle with each other in real time by using their move cards. From all I’ve seen, it looks like a pretty fun game, though I know nothing about Dragon Ball and I have an unreasonable disinterest in card-based games. What made me perk up, though, was when I heard that Bandai Namco opted to use Google’s Cloud Network to host all the infrastructure for the game and that one of the main components of this system is Cloud Spanner, Google’s globally distributed database.

Oracle’s cloud biz heading in the wrong direction right now

Oracle announced its quarterly earnings last night, detailing that its cloud business grew 32 percent to $1.6 billion in the quarter. That might sound good at first blush, but it’s part of three straight quarters of reduced growth — a fact that had investors jittery over night. It didn’t get better throughout the day today with Oracle’s stock plunging over 9 percent as of this writing.

IDG Contributor Network: Say goodbye to spring cleaning

As spring finally rolls around and the frost melts away (except here in New England), the change in seasons not only brings us ultraviolet B-induced vitamin D, but also shines some healthy sunlight on the clutter the long winter leaves behind in its wake, including both at home and in the data center. With spring, comes an opportunity to reevaluate data center cleaning habits and question whether a more practical, day-to-day strategy would benefit data center managers in the long run.

Alphabet’s ‘Outline’ Homebrew VPN Software Offers Open-Source, Easy Set-Up Privacy You Control

A virtual private network, that core privacy tool that encrypts your internet traffic and bounces it through a faraway server, has always presented a paradox: Sure, it helps you hide from some forms of surveillance, like your internet service provider’s snooping and eavesdroppers on your local network. But it leaves you vulnerable to a different, equally powerful spy: Whoever controls the VPN server you’re routing all your traffic through.

The NSA Worked To ‘Track Down’ Bitcoin Users, Snowden Documents Reveal

An anonymous reader shares a report: Classified documents provided by the whistleblower Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency worked urgently to target Bitcoin users around the world — and wielded at least one mysterious source of information to “help track down senders and receivers of Bitcoins,” according to a top-secret passage in an internal NSA report dating to March 2013. The data source appears to have leveraged NSA’s ability to harvest and analyze raw, global internet traffic while also exploiting an unnamed software program that purported to offer anonymity to users, according to other documents.

Although the agency was interested in surveilling some competing cryptocurrencies, “Bitcoin is #1 priority,” a March 15, 2013 internal NSA report stated. The documents indicate that “tracking down” Bitcoin users went well beyond closely examining Bitcoin’s public transaction ledger, known as the Blockchain, where users are typically referred to through anonymous identifiers; the tracking may also have involved gathering intimate details of these users’ computers. The NSA collected some Bitcoin users’ password information, internet activity, and a type of unique device identification number known as a MAC address, a March 29, 2013 NSA memo suggested. In the same document, analysts also discussed tracking internet users’ internet addresses, network ports, and timestamps to identify “BITCOIN Targets.”

BrandPost: When SMBs Go to the Cloud, On-Premises IT Infrastructure Is Still Necessary

Cloud technology has been incredibly beneficial for organizations of every size and type. However, as the use of cloud increases, some common misperceptions are setting the stage for substantial operational problems in the future. The first misperception, and perhaps the most notable, is the belief held by many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) utilizing cloud services that they don’t have to worry about their on-premises IT equipment and ensure it is housed in a reliable and protected physical environment.

Child Abuse Imagery Found Within Bitcoin’s Blockchain

German researchers have discovered unknown persons are using bitcoin’s blockchain to store and link to child abuse imagery, potentially putting the cryptocurrency in jeopardy. From a report: The blockchain is the open-source, distributed ledger that records every bitcoin transaction, but can also store small bits of non-financial data. This data is typically notes about the trade of bitcoin, recording what it was for or other metadata. But it can also be used to store links and files. Researchers from the RWTH Aachen University, Germany found that around 1,600 files were currently stored in bitcoin’s blockchain. Of the files least eight were of sexual content, including one thought to be an image of child abuse and two that contain 274 links to child abuse content, 142 of which link to dark web services. “Our analysis shows that certain content, eg, illegal pornography, can render the mere possession of a blockchain illegal,” the researchers wrote. “Although court rulings do not yet exist, legislative texts from countries such as Germany, the UK, or the USA suggest that illegal content such as [child abuse imagery] can make the blockchain illegal to possess for all users. This especially endangers the multi-billion dollar markets powering cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.”

IDG Contributor Network: Flexible security – time to forget the underlying infrastructure

Business transformation remains aligned to technological advances, according to more than four fifths (81%) of global CEOs. Yet in the rush to achieve digitally enabled change, the constraints of current security models and thinking pose a fundamental risk to the business. When organizations are faced with wholesale and expensive security redevelopment to embrace the cloud, extend the capability of a remote office, support flexible working, or even upgrade data center requirements it is no wonder corners are cut and security postures compromised as a result.